Backyard chickens aren’t just a fad sweeping the USA – they’re a worldwide trend!
Based on a desire to raise and grow your own food, a flock of backyard chickens brings you one step closer to self-sufficient living. – A lifestyle that appeals to folks at home and abroad. I recently had a company in the UK ask if they could share with our readers a few tips on backyard chicken keeping. Even though they don’t ship their products to the US, I found their advice and suggestions to be universal!
Continue reading as EGGSHELL gives some sound advice that applies to chicken keeping – no matter where your coop is located!
Having chickens can be a huge benefit to any family as they can provide eggs, educate the children and also be a way to earn a little extra money. There are currently reports coming out suggesting that free range chickens may actually experience higher stress levels than those who are seen to live in terribly compact conditions. This has shed some light on results that can be used to improve the quality of life for your own chickens.
One of the main factors that have been found to stress chickens is heat. The hotter they are the more stress they experience, and this can easily be tackled. Making sure that there are shaded areas is essential as you do not want your chickens to become overheated or dehydrated. Place old fans throughout areas such as under any cover that provides shade or just outside of the coop. You do not want to place a fan aiming directly into the coop as any of the saw dust will be blown around.
Another trick to keep them cool is to chop up fruit into small pieces and freeze it. Once frozen, take the pieces out and toss them to the chickens whilst they are enjoying their day. This will not only be a tasty treat for them but will help to cool them down on hot days. You could also use a number of shallow dishes with water in so that they can hop in and out as they please. Place these around in different areas and have enough for the amount of chickens you have.
Chickens used to live in small groups according to evolution, so it has been said that the free range chickens who are around hundreds of others at a time are actually far more stressed than those cooped up. As the best of both worlds, why not have a number of smaller chicken coops instead of just one large one. This will allow the chickens to get away if they are feeling too cramped when out roaming the garden. It could also make it far easier for you to keep track of the chickens and their produce.
These are the creepy crawlies that can often be found on chickens in back garden coops and they can be a nightmare. One of the best tactics for combating these lice, mites and the other crawling visitors is to provide your chickens with a large box of sand. The chickens will wallow in this and the parasites will be smothered and dislodged. It also helps to clean the animal of oils and dirt that these parasites love to feed off. Keeping an eye out for these will also allow you to treat the problem as quickly as possible. Look out for signs such as being bitten yourself, the parasites visibly crawling on the chickens, or your flock looking a little worse for wear.
As chickens are omnivores they’ll pretty much eat anything but of course this doesn’t mean to go chucking in anything. The best foods are chicken feed, vegetables and fruits and mixed corn. Make sure they get a good variety so that their diet is balanced and do not feed them too much corn as you do not want them to put on too much weight and not be able to lay eggs.
At Eggshell there are a huge variety of chicken coops available and you can find one ideal for the amount of animals that you have. Make sure that they have enough space to roam around in the run if you cannot let them out in to the garden. The coop should also be easy to access from your point of view. They should be predator proof with thick wire to make sure that you are not likely to lose your chickens to a fox during the night.
-This post was written by Amy Bennett on behalf of Eggshell who provide chicken coops and accessories to help make your chickens happy.
To view more of EGGSHELL’s products, visit their website at this link: EGGSHELL
Do you have any tips, suggestions or chicken-related experiences you’d like to share with the Community?